Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Those of you who know me, probably think that I am about to slam the triathlon shop. You couldn't be more wrong.
Let me tell you a story:
I had a set of 2005 Zipp 404 tubular wheels. I bought them used and raced the set for two seasons. Lots of potholed crits. I thought that I had broken them a dozen times. I put enough miles on them that I had to change the tubular tires.
When I tried to sell them, I found a hairline crack near the tire on the front wheel. It was small enough that I may have been able to get away with selling them "as is," but the ethicist in me would not allow that.
Zipp has a "no fault" crash repair policy for wheels that are out of warranty. My wheels were both out of warranty and on their 2nd or 3rd owner. Furthermore, I don't have a receipt for them. Zipp's repair policy requires you to go through a Zipp dealer, pay for shipping (both ways) and pay wholesale for repairs. The idea is that Zipp will keep your wheels running for less than the cost of new wheels. Fair enough.
Quad Multi-Sport (QMS) is a Zipp dealer. There are also a number of other Zipp dealers in the Boston area. I have done business with almost every one of them and opted not bring the wheels to them for one reason or another. I chose to go to QMS because I used to race for Quad Cycles, which is across the street and closely affiliated with QMS. I remain good friends with QS's owner, Rustem, despite my decision to race for another team. I figured that Rustem would make sure I was treated well at QMS.
I brought the wheel in on a Saturday and was treated politely. Obviously, the owner and I had little to talk about since our cycling disciplines could not be more different. There was no small talk, all business. I don't even remember if I mentioned my former affiliation with Quad.
I truthfully told Tom, co owner, that I had no idea how the wheel came to be cracked. I didn't imply that the wheel was defective, only that it was cracked and that I would like it fixed. I never disparaged Zipp or their product.
Tom promised to call Zipp on Monday, readily admitting, without shame, that he had never handled a Zipp service issue before. He said that it would be a learning experience. I made him promise to call me before sending the wheel off. I was a little hesitant to be the test run, but left the wheel accompanied by my name and phone number.
I never got a call from QMS on the following Monday. I had visions of waiting forever for the wheel and then getting socked with a $500 repair bill on a wheel only worth $400.
Tom called back a week and a half later, the wheel was fixed and I was only required to pay for shipping ($42)! I am not sure how the shop wrangled this deal, but I was very happy. I kept my happiness under wraps so that they wouldn't change thier minds and be tempted to tack extra charges onto the bill. I didn't ask any questions either.
I should add that the wheel looks brand new and came with a new Zipp skewer and a valve Zipp valve extender.
While I will not be switching sports, or more accurately, taking on two new sports, I will say that I was more than happy with the service at QMS. They were polite and quick. They have a good selection of aero gear in stock. So if you are looking for fast carbon wheels or a TT setup to buy or rent, I'd at check these guys out, you'll be happy with the service.